Gina Arnold misses two key points:
1. Sarah McLachlan-style music will continue to be played long after all the with-it '90s bands have faded from public memory. There's a reason "Yesterday" generates more money than the rest of the Beatles songbook combined.

2. Feminism is not synonymous with dyke, it is synonymous with crap. Tying an art form to politics is a guaranteed failure mode!

John Hines
Via e-mail

Your paper really slammed one of the truly precious moments of my summer. The article reeked of sexism and presented such mixed-up logic as to make the article incomprehensible. The sexism in the music industry is legendary, and here you scoff at it as if it didn't exist. Sarah McLachlan is not a revolutionary, and the best I can tell, has never presented herself as such. She is not expected to be a Gloria Steinem or a Jane Fonda. She is a musician who was doing just fine on her own, but came up with the brilliant idea of an all-women festival.

Perhaps it just upsets your sense of status quo that an all-women program could out-profit all other programs in its class. The question about whether it is about money or about purpose is moot. Rock and roll is about making money, and I am proud to be a part of a venue which allows women artists to be as monetarily successful as their male peers. There are not many arenas in which women can prove themselves as thoroughly as they have in this one. I think it must just gall the traditionally macho rock and roll world to see what has happened with the Lilith Fair.

Gina, you completely missed the point.
Via e-mail

Like Lilith Fair, your article was long, repetitious, and full of contempt for the opposing side. I can understand not liking the format or the forum for Lilith Fair, but taking away from the fact that they are artists by bringing up money is childish. Hail the Mighty Dollar! Show me a musician who isn't in it for the money and fame, and I'll show you someone who knows they have no talent.

The Spice Girls never had a qualm about stating that they were in it for the money and that they were not the best in the business of singing. Madonna said in Truth or Dare that she's not the best singer or dancer in the world, but at least she's making money. (I'm paraphrasing here.) Why are they wrong to do that? If the girls of Lilith Fair are making a buck on badly written love songs that were undoubtedly taken from their diaries in junior high, then more power to them.

In my life, the only people that I've come across who hated money were the ones without any.

Via e-mail

Some coincidence
I find it somewhat comforting to note that I can accurately predict the future--at least in regard to feature stories on WFAA-Channel 8 and The Dallas Morning News. All I need do is pick up a copy of the Observer and then wait a few weeks (or in some cases months). Is it my imagination, or didn't I read an expose on towing companies operating outside the law in the Observer? Just last week, good ol' WFAA ran a hard-hitting expose of the same thing happening along Lower Greenville. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Brad Kozak
Via e-mail

Editor's note: The story to which Mr. Kozak refers--"Feeling lucky?"--ran in the Observer on December 19, 1996.

Just saps
Have you always been an idiot, or did you recently have a head injury?
I'd refute [Robert Wilonsky's] preview of Elton John [Music listings, August 6], but I scarcely know where to begin. Of course, as a critic for an "alternative" publication, I suppose you couldn't possibly like something that is popular. Or, I should say, have the honesty to admit it.

To say that Elton John hasn't written a good song since the mid-1970s is absurd. If you don't like his music, fine. But as a critic, you ought to attempt to find out why someone like John has touched so many people with his music for nearly 30 years.

Or are millions of people just saps?
Jeff Stevens
Via e-mail

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